In November 2012, I had slimmed myself down to 185 pounds. I hadn’t been that low since my 20’s. Mental illness, namely depression that I have dealt with for decades, now reared its ugly head and caused difficulties with my personal and work life.  I had years where I was hospitalized on and off, and now found myself repeating this with an admission to hospital on the psychiatric wing in March of 2012.

I lost some weight prior to the hospitalization, and then quite a bit throughout the 3 ½ week stay, and managed to keep it off; remaining at 185, but then disaster struck…


YES, the extra-large SAUSAGE/HAM/GREEN PEPPER/ONION/BLACK OLIVE/EXTRA CHEESE pizza started the ball rolling into gallbladder hell…

My whole gallbladder story is a nightmare.  I had my first attack on Nov 19, 2012 (didn’t know it was my gallbladder, in fact didn’t know where the gallbladder was in my body, but soon found out).  That pain was the worst pain I have ever experienced, a rush to the emergency, and they were going to perform emergency surgery, however, after extensive tests (CT scans, ultrasound, x-rays), decided to wait until things settled down and sent me home.  Two days later, another attack.  Identical story, further tests, blah, blah, blah…but this time they admitted me where I was on  a heavy course of IV antibiotics for a week, and then sent home.  All was settled in the pain department.  I was warned:  No fried food and no rich desserts.

On November 27th my weight was 170 lbs ~ a loss of 15 in just under a month!

Dec 2012. No attacks for a few weeks.  I think I’m in the clear; then bang.  Same story, going to operate, wait until things settle, sent home, few days later back to emergency with another attack!  This time I’m insisting they operate, but no, gallbladder perforated and too risky for surgery, admitted to hospital.  This is admission #2.  Week on IV antibiotics, given an ECRP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) which is an endoscope to diagnose the biliary and pancreatic ducts, and told I have a “very angry gallbladder”, pain settles and sent home.  I was warned again:  No fried food and no rich desserts (which I had been faithful to).  Visit to surgeon and they decide if in one month no more attacks that they will perform surgery.  Hospital calls, backed up, surgery will have to be delayed for 1 1/2 mos.

By December 27 my weight had dropped to 165 lbs. (20 lbs. lost)

Jan 2013.  Another attack.  Another hospitalization, more antibiotics and felt if they put a tube in my stomach and around the gallbladder it would drain some of the bile and infection, at least that is the way I understood it.  Still awaiting surgery.  That was admission #3.   I was warned again:  No fried food and no rich desserts (are you kidding me….by this point I was afraid to put anything in my mouth).

On February 1st my weight dropped to 154 lbs. ~ a total of 31 lbs. (I was thrilled with this weight loss even though I was ill)

Hospitalization # 4, and we’re up to Feb 2013 by this point.  But of course, another attack, another hospitalization, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, heavy antibiotics but this time after the second week of hospital admission they did decide to perform surgery. Yippee!  Not so fast…..  They performed surgery, however, when they went in it was unsuccessful and sewed me back up so to speak.  The surgeon came in the following morning (surgery was performed @ 9:00 p.m.) and said “this was the worst gallbladder operation I have ever worked on”.  He removed a gallstone the size of a golf ball and there was so much infection that he couldn’t remove the gallbladder.  I couldn’t believe it.  He couldn’t perform it laparoscopy method; but via the incision method.  He even claimed the gallbladder may shrink.  So, I was left with a 9” scar and still stuck with this friggin’ gallbladder.  A week later I was sent home with a tube in my stomach and nurses coming every day to my home to change bandages.

I just thought to myself…why didn’t they remove this thing at the very first attack in November???

March 6th weight was 151 and by March 13th my dropped to 144 lbs. ~ total of 41 lbs. (Yippppeee!)

March 13th ~ I was deathly ill, practically living on 4 crackers a day, almost eating Gravol my stomach felt so queasy and it was to be hospitalization #5 due to an abscess caused by the surgery.  I required 4 units of blood and admitted for 2 weeks….but the good news was that it was my last hospitalization for gallbladder.  Unfortunately, as luck would have it, I had another hospitalization for a stomach infection in May for one week.

Spring and summer came and went, and I knew I had to have this thing removed.  This time I was assigned a new surgeon (I’m relieved as I thought the last one was an idiot).  My surgery was finally performed September 13th (Friday the 13th) and the friggin’ gallbladder was removed for good.  The first words out my mouth when I awoke from surgery were “DID THEY TAKE THE GB OUT THIS TIME?”, “Yes”, the nurse replied.  Thank goodness!  I healed so quickly from this surgery and  have had no sickness or ill effects.

December 2013 ~~ I’ve been maintaining my weight, and it fluctuates between 137 – 142 lbs.  So that is weight loss of roughly 45 lbs.  My clothing size dropped from a size 22 to size 12/14.  I’m hell bent on losing more, and the problems have begun.

I lost the weight too fast (4-5 months); it is exhilarating to have this new body, who wouldn’t want to lose weight?  Unexpectedly you begin to receive compliments, the “muffin top” over the jeans has lessened, I can see my feet again (exaggerating) and I can actually walk up a flight of stairs without virtually collapsing.  But, I’m petrified at the thought of ever being that enormous overweight person again.  The scale now rules my life.

My family doctor, psychiatrist and psychologist are now concerned that these are “signs” that indicate  an Eating Disorder.  This is a new chapter in my life which is beginning a new hell of its own.


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I am a Mental Health Advocate for mental illness Stigma. In 2007, I created the "Living in Stigma" blog, with the purpose and anticipation of educating people about mental illness. Depression is part of this illness, which intertwines with those struggling with PTSD, chronic pain, and other invisible illnesses. I am a chronic migraine sufferer myself, and a sexual and emotional abuse survivor. My passions are writing, poetry, and art. All abuse Survivors are also Warriors.


  1. Hi, recently launched a free interactive “Human Body Maps” tool. I thought your readers would be interested in our body map of the Gallbladder:

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    Maggie Danhakl- Assistant Marketing Manager
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  2. Hi Deb,

    Sorry it took me so long to read this. I am sorry to hear about all that you went through. As a person with an Eating Disorder I can sympathize with what you have written about. I am sure having weight to lose for so long, and then suddenly losing it quickly must create so many mixed emotions. I wish you well in this difficult journey.


    1. Thanks so much for reading my woes with weight! It’s been a real struggle in my life; going from always being very overweight, dreaming of always being the size I am now, and now having more problems than ever before. Hope the ED program helps, so far, so good.


  3. Geez, and I thought MY gallbladder issues were bad….they were nothing compared to yours!! I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that, but at least the weight loss was an added bonus. 🙂 So glad they were finally able to take it out, and you can be pain free from now on!


    1. Thanks so much for commenting. No more issues with the gallbladder, can eat most foods and am luckier than I thought I would be. The good surgeon this time really paid off.


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